2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PIED2558 Security Studies
20 creditsClass Size: 176
Module manager: Professor Graeme Davies
Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable
Year running 2017/18
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryWhy should I take this Module?The module provides an introduction to the debates on security in international relations. It examines the concept, role and making of security in the contemporary international system. It outlines the main theoretical approaches and conceptualizations used in security studies and analyses a selection of important challenges that have been framed as security threats. The module is in two parts. The first part examines and debates a range of competing theories and conceptualisations of security. This part explores the different meanings of the term ‘security’ and whose security we can talk about. The second part of the module examines contemporary security threats with implications for international politics. These will include inter and intra-state conflict, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, organised crime, poverty, health, migration, energy and the environment.Brief Reading ListPaul D. Williams (ed) (2008), Security Studies: An Introduction (London: Routledge)Alan Collins (2007), Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford: OUP)Peter Hough (2007), Understanding Global Security (London: Routledge)Michael E. Brown (ed.) (2003), Grave New World: Security Challenges in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press)Terry Terriff, Stuart Croft, Lucy James and Patrick M. Morgan (2003), Security Studies Today (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press)Stuart Croft and Terry Terriff (eds.) (2000) Critical Reflections on Security and Change (London: Frank Cass)
ObjectivesThe aim of this module is to provide an introduction to debates on security in international relations. The first objective is to outline what we mean by security and to discuss the limitations of its different conceptions.
The second objective is to analyse the different theoretical schools that examine security, starting with realism and then move onto the newer theoretical approaches such as the Copenhagen school.
The third objective is to examine contemporary security threats, what they mean for the analysis of international politics and how the earlier theoretical models can be applied to understand these issues.
The module is in two parts.
- The first part examines and debates a range of competing theories and conceptualisations of security. This part explores the different meanings of the term 'security' and whose security we can talk about.
- The second objective is to examines contemporary security threats with implications for international politics. These will include inter and intra-state conflict, terrorism, organised crime, health and the environment.
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the principal debates about conceptualising security.
2. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches to security.
3. Assess the utility of theory in understanding security.
4. Evaluate the security challenges facing policymakers.
5. Critically evaluate the reasons for labelling an issue a security threat.
6. Discuss the dangers of labelling an issue a security threat.
7. Analyze current and potential responses to current security threats.
8. Critically re-evaluate the direction of security studies.
Part One: Theories and Concepts
1. Traditional Approaches to Security: Realism and Security Studies
2. Critical Security Studies
3. Feminist Approaches to Security
4. Human Security
5. Research Week.
Part Two: Threats and Responses
6. Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
7. Transnational Organised Crime
8. Weapons of Mass Destruction
9. Environmental Change
11. Conclusion: The Future of Security Studies.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||178.00|
|Total Contact hours||22.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyStudents are required to read core and additional readings listed in the reading list in preparation for seminar discussion and essays. This entails careful and reflective reading, note-taking, summarising, preparation for class discussion, and developing a sense of a field of literature in addition to engagement with individual readings.
Students are also encouraged to use their initiative and skills of discernment in finding additional material relevant to the course topics.
Opportunities for Formative Feedback- Student attendance will be monitored on a weekly basis
- Student contribution to class discussion will be monitored throughout the course, but not assessed.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 x 2,500 word essay,end semester||100.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
1,000 word mid term essay (non assessed)
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 18/05/2017
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